By Kristel Satumbaga
Newly elected Rowing Association of the Philippines President Patrick Gregorio seeks to bolster its grassroots program to widen the athletes’ pool for future international tournaments.
Gregorio said they plan to introduce coastal tournaments in nearby cities to discover potential athletes while reaching out to several schools and club teams in developing their rowing programs.
So far, there are only 12 athletes in the national team and training pool.
“It is a difficult but beautiful sport. Hopefully, we can develop more athletes who can succeed internationally in the future,” Gregorio said.
An archipelagic nation, Gregorio is optimistic talents are everywhere waiting to be discovered.
Gregorio added they are also looking at more training venues in Caliraya, Paoay, San Rafael in Bulacan and Davao. The PH team currently trains at the La Mesa Dam.
Rowing has produced two Olympians so far with national team coach Ed Mayrina competing at the 1988 Seoul and Benjie Tolentino at the 2000 Sydney Games.
At the 30th Southeast Asian Games, the Nationals won three gold and one bronze medal.
The association currently eyes Olympic berths headed by 19-year-old Cris Nievarez, and Melcah Caballero and Joanie Delgaco, both 23.